Black students who attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. held a press conference to address their concerns since returning to school. While a handful of their White classmates are getting national attention after the mass shooting left 17 dead at their school, they say their concerns as students of color are not being highlighted in the same regard.
David Hogg, a senior at the high school, spoke explicitly about the disparity in coverage for Black and low-income communities who have long suffered through gun violence. His classmates respect and support the national campaign but say that the representation matters and its neglected at their school.
The Black students told reporters on Wednesday that they feel excluded from the conversations on gun violence since the tragedy at their high school. They also voiced concern about the increased police presence on their school campus. 17-year-old Kai Koerber said that at predominantly white school, the students of colors would be seen as “potential criminals.”
Another student Tyah-Amoy Roberts spoke to reporters about how police violence disproportionately affects men and women of color. She said that this fact needs to be brought up in the discourse surrounding gun reform.
Tyah-Amoy a Marjorie Stoneman Douglas student said conversations about gun violence have to include police violence. She asked, the same people who showed up for #MarchForOurLives–will they show up for #StephonClark? #AltonSterling? #SandraBland? pic.twitter.com/QIhvy9gYHD
— Nadege C. Green (@NadegeGreen) March 28, 2018
Eleven percent of the student body at Stoneman Douglas High School is Black. Despite that fact, most of their voices have been absent from the national news coverage of Parkland. For their own press conference reportedly only eight news outlets showed up all of them being local networks.